Life & Style Weekend - - WELCOME - WORDS: LAYNE WHIT­BURN

Christ­mas par­ties, fam­ily gath­er­ings, work long lunches… the fes­tive sea­son is here, and as much as it’s a time of joy, it can cause a lot of stress on our health and well-be­ing. If there is one thing to fo­cus on in keep­ing your health and well­be­ing in check, con­sider the power of snoozevill­e. Qual­ity sleep is key to liv­ing the health­i­est life pos­si­ble. Here’s six rea­sons why you should put up a (pil­low) fight with late-night partying and tuck into the sheets.

Con­trol your ap­petite

Did some­one say snack? Lack­ing a sig­nif­i­cant other S-word, the mere sight of any­thing food re­lated sig­nals the hunger hor­mone in­tro over­drive. A sleep-de­prived brain craves a pick-up to get through the day. Un­for­tu­nately caf­feinated, sugar-loaded and pro­cessed snacks are the go-to fix rather than nu­tri­tional foods which will do you good. Break the cy­cle and swap that sec­ond af­ter­noon tea for an af­ter­noon nap.

Men­tal health

Sleep not only in­flu­ences ap­petite lev­els, but our sero­tonin lev­els too. An im­bal­ance of sero­tonin may in­flu­ence mood in a way that leads to de­pres­sion, not to men­tion poor sleep can lead to fa­tigue which in turn de­creases ex­er­cise. In­ac­tiv­ity is a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to­wards men­tal health is­sues so it is vi­tal to main­tain a healthy sleep rou­tine to en­able a happy and healthy life­style.

Top the class

Ever felt foggy af­ter a rest­less night? A lack of sleep puts pres­sure on the brain and its abil­ity to think clearly, learn and con­cen­trate. Just like clean­ers come into an of­fice at night to clean the mess of the day, sleep gives the brain time to process and de­clut­ter all the in­for­ma­tion from our day and store it into our mem­ory banks. This re­sults in a much clearer, at­ten­tive and fo­cused brain come morn­ing.

Less likely to get sick

Sick and tired of be­ing sick and tired? That’s be­cause the two go hand in hand. Lack of sleep can sup­press the im­mune sys­tem mak­ing you more vul­ner­a­ble to catch­ing any nasty bugs or flus.

More en­ergy

To get the most out of your work­out there’s pro­tein shakes, pro­tein bars, pro­tein this and pro­tein that. But when it all gets too con­fus­ing, go back to ba­sics and get a good night’s sleep. More zzzs equals less day­time fa­tigue and more stamina mean­ing you’ll have more en­ergy for boot camp than a Du­ra­cell bunny.

Stress less

A sleep-de­fi­cient body is a stressed-out body. When we are tired, our body func­tions are put on high alert, lead­ing to high blood pres­sure and even higher stress lev­els. So chill and take a nap. No need to feel guilty, it’s all in the name of good health. Good­night!

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